Catching The Westbound “Cheltenham Winslow Blues”

Sometime the fall of 2014 or the spring of 2015, I met Catching The Westbound at The Wolf in Ballwin, MO.  I remember when I saw them perform, I thought, “Wow, can she sing and can he play.”  That simple summary doesn’t do the duo of Emily and Andy justice but gives you a basic idea of what to expect from the St. Louis based folk twosome.  Click play below and read the story behind their song “Cheltenham Winslow Blues.”

As I try to network with artists, I happened to send Catching The Westbound a message and ran into them the same day. Those little coincidences in life inspire me.  The following information about the song is from Andy.

Story Behind The Song

Here’s some background on our music and on the writing of Cheltenham Winslow Blues.

We started off doing a lot of old American folk songs and moved on to writing our own stuff about a year ago [winter of 2014]. Emily and I have each written roughly an equal number of songs, but so far, Cheltenham is the only one we have recorded and up on SoundCloud. We are currently working on getting the other ones recorded.
Emily and Andy of Catching The Westbound

From a performance in November at Elijah P’s in Alton, IL.

Cheltenham Winslow Blues was the first song I wrote for this project (Catching the Westbound). The title references the Cheltenham neighborhood in St. Louis, over near Dogtown, which provided some inspiration for the setting of the song. That’s where Emily was living at the time. It’s an area where industry and train tracks are mixed in with the residential streets, and I wanted to make that connection through the name of the character.

Musically, it’s a pretty straight forward blues song. It has a constant bass note thumb rhythm (as opposed to the syncopated, alternating bass lines I use on some of the other bluesy songs we do). I like the way a simple, rhythmic blues can emulate the sound of a train.

I wrote the song last year. I was busy and wasn’t sleeping much. It’s not meant to be autobiographical, but the insomnia was part the inspiration for a restless character. The song tells a story of a guy who never really fit in anywhere he went. He’s anxious and can’t really settle down or find anything that works for him. And his death, which is accidental, but not altogether unwelcome, is sort of the only way he can ever find peace. Important to him, but not necessarily to anyone else.
The recording is a single guitar part and a vocal track. I used an old acoustic archtop guitar that I got at Music Folk in St. Louis. It was on consignment and was made by a local luthier.

Catching The Westbound Links

Check their Twitter to find out about performances, music, and video.  They play around the St. Louis area in various venues.  Go see them and support their music.

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